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Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Switch) review: An excellent return to its 2D roots

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Switch) review: An excellent return to its 2D roots

Image credit: Nintendo

It is a rare occurrence to stumble upon a game that not only redefines the boundaries of its genre but also reinvigorates our love for video games. Super Mario Bros. Wonder, the latest game in the legendary franchise by Nintendo, does exactly that. It takes us on a journey that's as unconventional as it is fascinating, marking a significant departure from the well-trodden paths of the Mushroom Kingdom to the uncharted terrains of the Flower Kingdom. This isn't just a change of setting; it's a bold reinvention of the Mario saga.

The narrative of Super Mario Bros. Wonder (let’s call it Wonder from here on) is as intriguing as it is whimsical. The game pivots around the iconic characters – Mario, Luigi, Peach, and the ensemble – who find themselves chasing their nemesis Bowser, who, in a twist of fate, transforms into a castle. This surreal turn of events is just the tip of the iceberg. The game is infused with a series of oddities that challenge the players’ perceptions of what a Mario game can be.

Image credit: Nintendo

Visually, the game stands out with its vibrant and refreshing aesthetic. Nintendo has evidently put considerable effort into revamping the graphics, breathing new life into the characters and the worlds they inhabit. This visual facelift complements the game's creative mechanics. The introduction of Wonder Flowers in each level is a stroke of genius, altering gameplay and level dynamics in unpredictable and sometimes bizarre ways. These flowers transform the game’s physics and character abilities, making each level a unique experience that keeps players on their toes.

Wonder also marks a return to the series' roots with its side-scrolling format, reminiscent of the original Super Mario Bros. games. This shift to a more linear, straightforward progression is a welcome change, especially for those who yearn for the simplicity and charm of the earlier titles. It also makes the game more accessible, welcoming a broader audience that spans generations of gamers.

Image credit: Nintendo

The game's multiplayer aspect is a significant draw, supporting up to four players in both local and online modes. This functionality transforms Wonder into a communal experience, ideal for family parties, gatherings or online hangouts with friends. The variety in character selection, each with unique abilities, adds depth and replayability to the game too. From the classic Mario and Luigi to Nabbit and variously coloured Yoshis, each character offers a different way to navigate the whimsical world of the Flower Kingdom.

The introduction of Badges adds another layer of complexity and strategy to the game. These collectibles provide players with new abilities and enhancements, contributing to the game's rich tapestry of gameplay experiences. The Badges range from offering simple power-ups to granting unique abilities that can radically alter how players approach each level.

Despite the seemingly overwhelming array of mechanics and power-ups, Wonder manages to strike a balance between complexity and accessibility. The game encourages players to adapt, think creatively, and explore the full extent of its features to progress through its levels. This balance ensures that the game remains engaging for both seasoned gamers and newcomers alike.

Image credit: Nintendo

In a nutshell, Super Mario Bros. Wonder stands out as a testament to Nintendo's ability to innovate within its iconic franchises. The game's blend of nostalgia, creativity, and unpredictability sets it apart in a crowded field. Its appeal lies not just in its gameplay but also in its capacity to evoke a sense of wonder and discovery. Each level promises a new adventure, each power-up an opportunity to experience the game world from a different perspective.

The game is also a celebration of the imaginative, the whimsical, and the joyous aspects of gaming. It respects its roots while daring to explore new territories in game design. In a year marked by exceptional video game releases, Wonder stands out not just for its quality but for its unique ability to remind us why we fell in love with gaming in the first place. It's a game that deserves recognition and a prominent place in every gamer's collection, offering an experience that is both enchanting and unforgettable.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is availablenow at the Nintendo Official Stores on Lazada andShopee.

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